Using Pre-Forms

Vcheck Support > Special Coding > Using Pre-Forms

Using Pre-Forms to Add Additional Data to Check Files

Consider a pre-form as a prelude to the actual Vcheck form your customers complete. A pre-form can be used to collect additional information or agreements from your customers before sending them to fill out the Vcheck form.

In essence, a pre-form will pass all additional form field pairs (field name / value supplied) into the Vcheck system. If the form field pair match those of the actual Vcheck form (for example, amount, memo, etc) - then the values passed will be used to pre-populate those fields on the actual form.  Non Vcheck field pairs are stored in the check details files and can be viewed there.

Before going further into details, it may be helpful to see some actual working pre-forms in action. The links below will launch several special sample pre-forms into a new window or tab. If you wish you may complete the sample pre-forms and you will see that it transfers you to a Vcheck form on a test account. These pre-forms are just to show that pretty much anything can be done using this technique.

The Insurance Pre-From (This form is built into the system).

A Customized Insurance Pre-Form (The "This Payment is For" selection is printed on the checks in the memo field)

Sample Property Tax Pre-Form.

A Church/Donation Type, Non-Recurring Pre-Form.

A Donation Pre-Form with Recurring Donations Options.

A sample of a check details file (from the last sample pre-form above) with extra form fields is below. The check related fields are at the top with extra fields under the Form Details label.

pre-form check details.jpg

This can be of great value if you wish to use a current form on your website for product orders or other data and then have a payment made by Vcheck. There are 5 fields that when sent in the call for the secure Vcheck Form, will automatically populate the form with the values sent. These values appear as static text on the Vcheck form and can not be changed by the submitter.

The most important is the "amount" field. If you want a specific amount to appear on the check, simply send that value in your call for the form. This can come from any type of order form - even ones that calculate totals - as long as the final total for the order is sent as a value to a form field named "amount" - without the quotes. When used, the check form will appear with that amount hard-coded as both the numberic and the spelled out amounts. That value can not be changed by the end-user once on the Vcheck form. When sending an amount, just sent the dollars and cents - don't include the $ sign. 345.56 is correct, $345.56 is not.

The other fields that can be pre-populated onto the Vcheck form are up to 4 different memo fields that will appear on the check. If this option is not used, the end-user has the opportunity to enter in their own memo once on the Vcheck form. However, you may use the over ride option to embed specific memos onto the check. The easiest way to do this is with a hidden input fields in your form such as:

input type="hidden" name='memo' value='Widget Purchase'

That value will be embedded into the check and can not be changed by the end user. The other 3 memo fields are named memo2, memo3 and memo4. Either the field name of memo or memo1 will work for the primary memo field.

If you wish to let the customer put their own text into the primary memo field, but you also want to have specific data in the memo area, you can send values over for memo2 - memo4. If you don't send a value for memo or memo1, then the check submitter can fill in that field while the data you sent over for the other fields will be pre-populated in the memo area of the check.

In addition to the amount and memo fields - you can send values for any of the account holder's information fields listed below. Any values sent will appear in editable text boxes in case they need to change something.

The only problem you may run into is the phone number. Since there are so many ways people enter in phone numbers - just numbers, with dashes, with ( ), etc - the easiest way we found to make sure the final format was what we wanted was to break the phone number into three fields as you see below - if you want that pre-populated - you will have to break down the phone number into just digits for 3 digit area code, 3 digit prefix and 4 digit suffix.

Also, the Vcheck form does heavy field validation - for instance you can't put letters into the zip code - or numbers into the name, etc - so if you allow those to come over, the form will produce errors messages when submitted - which is OK if you don't want to do all the validation on your end.

Below is a complete list of all fields that can be sent along with the call for the Vcheck Form: amount - appears as static text and can not be changed.
memo or memo1 - appears as static text and can not be changed. If not used, user can supply value for this on the form.

amount - appears as the numeric and spelled out check amount. Can NOT be changed by the user.
email - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
memo1-memo4 - appears in the Memo area. Can NOT be changed by the user.
confirm_email - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_name - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_address - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_city - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_state - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_zip - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_phone_area - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_phone_prefix - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.
payer_phone_suffix - appears in an editable text box. Can be changed by the user.

Also, all the other form field pairs from your form will be passed into the Vcheck Form and written into the check "Details" text file. As explained above, you can view this data by clicking on the View Check Details under the Options button next to any given check. All other data submitted from the form that calls the Vcheck form will be in the details file - so all product information, shipping information and the like will be there - in addition to the check details. This makes a seemless process between your existing order forms and the Vcheck interface.

To use this feature, please follow the following guidelines or it may not work correctly.

1. Use the following as the Form Action in the form on your website:

FORM action=" VCHECK ID" method="post"

Make sure to change the YOUR VCHECK ID to your actual ID. Also, if you wish this process to launch into a new browser window so your user's still have your own website open when they complete the payment process, you can use this:

FORM action=" VCHECK ID" method="post" Target="_blank"

2. If you wish to pass the amount and or memo data into the Vcheck form - those form fields on your own order form must be named exactly that - all lower case - "amount" and "memo" - without the quotes. You may also pass a value for memo2, memo3, and memo4. The printed check will display up to 4 different lines of text in the memo area.

3. To be safe as not to interfere with any of the existing form fields used by the Vcheck Form, unless you want to pre-populate the fields as explained above, it is recommended that you use a prefix for all the form fields on your own form - such as Order_ - so [name="Shipping_Address"] would become [name="Order_Shipping_Address"] and so on. Since none of the form fields used by Vcheck use a "prefix_" in their names - this method of form field naming on your part will prevent conflicts.

4. Don't duplicate information. There is the possibility that the person submitting an order has different information than that which is supplied for the Vcheck. Therefore it may be necessary to ask for some Point of Contact and Shipping Address information and such on your own form - because that may be different or not asked at all on the Vcheck form - but you want to avoid, if possible, having a customer having to enter a lot of data twice - once on your form, and again on the Check Payment form.

For instance, since the Vcheck system needs the submitter's email address and asks them to provide it and also verify it - you may not want to ask for it on your own order form. Your customers may get tired of repeating information. The general rule is all the billing information will be asked for on the Vcheck form - but that may differ from the submitter's information. However, things such as product data, shipping address and the like are not asked for on the Vcheck form - it is for payment only.

The best thing to do is review the actual Vcheck form or the form fields listed above - and then your own form design, and make sure you are not duplicating (or missing) any data.

If you need to pass specific data back to another server or process - such as an e-commerce system or accounting script - see the sections on Background Pipeline and Redirecting to URL for complete details.

Also, with a little javascript magic in your pre-form, you can have up to four of the pre-form fields printed on the check in the memo area such as the sample below (from the same data in the check details screenshot above).

pre-form memo fields printed.jpg

49.19 KB PDF
A list of all the fields used by the Vcheck Form including validation requirements.
All Video Tutorials

Too Much to Handle?

If you could benefit from using a specialized pre-form but don't have the expertise to do the coding, we can do it for you for a nominal fee to cover our programming time.